A HORSERIDER has called for drivers to be more thoughtful after she says an encounter could have been “catastrophic”.

Melly Dolittle, 45, was riding along Oakley Road towards Dovercourt when an Audi driver approached close behind her and began to rev his engine aggressively.

Miss Dolittle said the driver then recklessly sped past her on a blind bend, causing another driver to slam on their brakes to avoid a collision.

She said: “It initially made me scared, upset and shocked.

“Then, when I had calmed down, I was really angry that someone would risk mine and my horse’s lives to get somewhere two seconds quicker.

“I was just before the corner which has the speed sign that lights up and I had a queue of traffic waiting to go past.

“Before I had safely got round the corner the Audi drove close to my horse’s back legs and then revved really hard and loud, before closely and speedily driving past me.

“My horse was upset as I was I, so I turned into a drive way to calm my horse down.

“All the other cars managed to wait until I was safe before they quietly drove by and a couple of them checked if I was OK.

“This behaviour is dangerous to riders and the horse. It could have stepped sideways and, due to the closeness and speed of the vehicle, they could have had life threatening injuries.

“Also, the horse could have bolted in fear and potentially caused a horrific accident; I could have been thrown from the horse into the path of oncoming vehicles again resulting in catastrophe.”

Miss Dolittle, 45, who has been riding on the roads for 30 years, has now issued an appeal for drivers to be more considerate towards riders warning otherwise it could end in tragedy.

She added: “I’ve had quite a few close calls like this and normally on the Oakley Road or Main Road.

“We do not have enough bridlepaths in the area so we have to use the roads.

“The driver in this incident was inconsiderate and unkind, they only needed to pass when safe to do so and at a speed and proximity that did not upset my horse and potentially cause an accident.

“I would remind drivers we live in a rural area so they will encounter many horses and tractors on the roads - they were here before all the cars were.

“Just imagine if the person on the horse was your family member, how would you feel if as a result of your own impatience they suffered a horrific accident?”